Witness the final walk of a dog and know all you need to know of dignity in death… and life

He walked with agonising difficulty, his hind legs arthritic, his back a terrible burden to him. It was as though will alone kept him upright. He was barely able to round the mausoleum, and kept stopping. With each tired step he took, his owner stooped to say something to him and patted his head. Laid her hand upon him would be a better way of putting it. A long, infinitely gentle touch, as though to lend him some of her vital spirit.

Whether she was urging him to get up and walk a little further, or telling him he could just sit down now in the gravel if that was what he wanted, take his final rest there and then, I couldn’t hear. But by some agreement they reached a bench where they could pause: she on the seat, he, folded under himself, at her feet.

  • Awww.

  • bob e

    beautifully written ..

  • Maggat

    A sad but uplifting story.

    We lost out oldest dog four years ago. She quietly passed on her bed at seventeen years and now the next one is getting close.
    I only hope I can possess the dignity a mere dog does when the time comes.

  • eMan14

    So very touching.

  • “…I watched a dog go for a last walk with his owner. Don’t ask me how I knew it was his last walk. I could tell, that’s all. Finalities are unmistakable….”

    thank you for that. I loved Howard Jacobson for his razor shar, take-no-prisoners intelligence, and for having coined quite a few unforgettable expressions in his “the Finkler Question”, but with this he pulls at the heart strings and comes out as a poet.
    I will not re-tweet this, but send it to my friends – who are all dog lovers (that should tell you that I dont have any Allah-crazies in my circle…

    • A black dog no less! Definitely not halal.

      • All dogs are “haram” in islam – that alone should be a warning.

  • MannieP

    Sounds like our old brood bitch Sheila. She insisted on jumping out of the car, and fell in a heap on the tarmac. But she walked to her doom. We stayed with her to the end. It is a dog owner’s sad duty.

  • Clink9

    Another great dog story from James Lileks last year:


  • AlanUK

    Didn’t (quite) bring tears to my eyes but it came **** close!